Redskins training-camp facility moving closer to completion
Posted by Mike Florio on May 26, 2013, 10:54 PM EST
At a time when pro sports teams are having a hard time getting public money, the Redskins finagled a brand-new training camp location in Richmond, Virginia. According to the Mechanicsville (Virginia) Local, the $10.8 million facility is scheduled to be completed by June 30.
The project has been fully funded by the Richmond Economic Development Authority, which initially approved $10 million for the facility but recently had to come up with an additional $800,000. The Redskins are contributing nothing but their presence, which is expected to attract $8.5 million annually in tourism, hotel, and restaurant dollars.
It’s amazing that more teams don’t make similar if-you-build-it-we-will-come offers to the communities in their home market. All it takes is one city to say yes and, voila, the team has a free-of-charge place to conduct training camp.
And if they need any appliances or other accessories that can be purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond, the Redskins need only ask their starting quarterback to open up a new registry.
Posted by Mike Wilkening on February 1, 2015, 12:11 AM EST
Welcome to PFT’s Prop Challenge, our daily look at a Super Bowl proposition bet.
Here’s the idea: we present a prop, do some light analysis, then let you decide which side to take — hypothetically, of course. (Previous examples are at the bottom of this post.)
When the Super Bowl wraps up, we’ll tally the votes and see how well PFT Planet did.
Now, let’s get to today’s prop, which is courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook:
Will there be overtime in the Super Bowl?
Yes: +550. No: -800.
The next Super Bowl to go to overtime will be the first. And undoubtedly, there will be bettors happily taking 11-2 odds with the idea that we’re due for a fifth quarter in pro football’s biggest game.
Also, there’s no denying the “Yes” side of props like this are more fun. What a nice story to have, cashing a ticket on the first-ever Super Bowl overtime. Win a bet like that and you dance to the seafood buffet.
However, history suggests “No” has a lot going for it — and not just because the first 48 Super Bowls have ended in regulation.
According to Pro Football Reference data, only 28-of-413 non-Super Bowl postseason games have gone to overtime since 1967. That’s about one in in every 16 games.
Viewed that way, 5.5-to-1 on the Super Bowl going to OT might seem a touch . . . short.
That said, Super Bowl XLIX is widely regarded as a closely matched competition. The point spread is pick ‘em at the majority of Nevada sports books.
Again, we turn to you. What’s the better bet — no overtime or the first-ever Super Bowl OT?
Aside: could you imagine Super Bowl overtime? The pressure would leave a nation pacing and push every Super Bowl party deeper into the night.
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 31, 2015, 10:02 PM EST
For the second time, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the Most Valuable Player of the National Football League.
Rodgers was announced as 2014 league MVP as the culmination of tonight’s NFL Honors event in Phoenix. Rodgers had previously won the award for the 2011 season.
It’s no surprise that the award went to Rodgers, who had a phenomenal statistical season: Rodgers completed 341 of 520 passes for 4,381 yards, with an incredible touchdown-interception ratio: He finished the year with 38 touchdown passes and just five interceptions.
The postseason ended in disappointment for Rodgers, who saw his Packers blow a big lead in the NFC Championship Game and lose to the Seahawks. But in the regular season, Rodgers was the best player in football. He was recognized for that tonight.
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 31, 2015, 10:02 PM EST
After shaking off a major knee injury to establish himself as the best tight end in the NFL, New England’s Rob Gronkowski has been named the comeback player of the year.
Gronk, who was a unanimous All-Pro, was given the award at tonight’s NFL Honors event in Phoenix. Members of the Gronkowski family picked up the award for Rob, the most successful of the many athletes in the family, as Rob is at the Patriots’ team hotel getting ready for the Super Bowl.
Of the 50 voters for the NFL awards, 27 picked Gronkowski. In second place were Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin and Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain with seven votes each, followed by Broncos cornerback Chris Harris with three votes, Ravens running back Justin Forsett and Texans running back Arian Foster with two votes, and Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote and Bills quarterback Kyle Orton with one vote each.
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 31, 2015, 9:52 PM EST
Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, whose foundation helps underprivileged children, has been named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year — the only award that recognizes players for their community service as well as their playing ability.
Davis received the award at tonight’s NFL Honors event in Phoenix.
“I am honored to be selected as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year,” Davis said. “This award means a great deal to me, as it symbolizes the valued work that the NFL, its players, and its 32 teams do in the community. I am blessed to have such a strong support system in my family, the Carolina Panthers and the NFL, which allows me to make an impact in the communities we serve.”
Davis, who had 129 tackles for the Panthers last season, will get a $50,000 donation made to the charity of his choice.
The award was voted upon by Fitzgerald’s fellow players. It is named for the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
One example of Fitzgerald’s respect for those he competes against came last season, when he delivered a textbook block on unsuspecting Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. While Fitzgerald knocked down Sherman, he did not hit him as hard as he could have. As the players ran back to their huddles, Sherman patted Fitzgerald on the helmet.
Afterwards, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll publicly praised Fitzgerald for the physical-but-clean way he plays the game.
The 31-year-old Fitzgerald is entering his 12th NFL season.
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 31, 2015, 9:22 PM EST
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year.
Donald got the award at tonight’s NFL Honors, capping a season in which he recorded nine sacks, including one sack in eight of the Rams’ last 11 games.
Of the 50 media members who vote on the NFL’s awards, 25 chose Donald as the defensive rookie of the year. Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley was next with 18 votes, followed by Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack with six votes and 49ers linebacker Chris Borland with one vote.
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 31, 2015, 9:15 PM EST
In the least surprising news to come out of tonight’s NFL Honors event, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has been named the defensive player of the year.
It was obvious that Watt would win the award because it’s obvious that Watt is the NFL’s best defensive player. There’s plenty of debate about who the second-best defensive player in the NFL is, but there’s no debate about who’s first.
Watt was selected unanimously by the 50 media members who vote on the NFL’s awards.
The biggest question about Watt now is whether he can continue to play at the dominant level he has shown off for the last three seasons. If he does, he’ll be not just the best defensive player in the NFL at the moment, but perhaps the greatest defensive player ever to play the game.
Posted by Darin Gantt on January 31, 2015, 8:45 PM EST
The Pro Football Hall of Fame cleared the decks of a number of finalists who had been debated for years, as they ushered in an eight-man class to Canton Saturday night.
First-year eligible linebacker Junior Seau was elected to the Hall of Fame, along with running back Jerome Bettis, defensive end Charles Haley, guard Will Shields and wide receiver Tim Brown.
They’ll be joined this summer by seniors nominee Mick Tingelhoff and contributor candidates Bill Polian and Ron Wolf, who were chosen in separate up-down votes which required at least 80 percent to be elected.
Brown, the longtime Raiders receiver/return man, was in his sixth year as a finalist, as he was stuck in previous years behind Hall of Famers Cris Carter and Andre Reed.
Likewise, Haley was in his sixth trip as a finalist, as he was finally recognized his contributions to five Super Bowl Champions in San Francisco and Dallas.
Bettis was in his fifth year in the final 15, and Shields was making his fourth trip that far.
Seau, however, didn’t need that much time, as the late Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots linebacker needed the shortest discussion of any of the 18 candidates discussed.
Those five modern era finalists emerged from a strong group of finalists, which were debated in a nearly nine-hour meeting Saturday.
The players who filled slots six through 10, and stand a solid shot at the Hall next year include linebacker Kevin Greene, quarterback Kurt Warner, tackle Orlando Pace, wide receiver Marvin Harrison and coach Tony Dungy.
The first five players eliminated from the original list of 15 modern era finalists were coaches Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson, kicker Morten Andersen, running back Terrell Davis and safety John Lynch.
Those remaining players will be eligible again next year, along with a crop of first-year eligible players which includes quarterback Brett Favre, wide receiver Terrell Owens, guard Alan Faneca and safety Darren Sharper.
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 31, 2015, 8:43 PM EST
After leading the injury-plagued Cardinals to the playoffs, Bruce Arians has been named the NFL’s coach of the year.
Arians, who kept the Cardinals together after they lost both starting quarterback Carson Palmer and backup quarterback Drew Stanton, was named the recipient of the coach of the year award at NFL Honors. A panel of 50 members of the media voted on the award.
This is the second time Arians has been named the NFL’s coach of the year; he also won the award after the 2012 season, when he took over the Colts after Chuck Pagano was stricken with leukemia and led the Colts to the playoffs.
To earn two coach of the year awards in his first three seasons as a head coach is an extraordinary accomplishment, for an extraordinary coach.
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 31, 2015, 8:32 PM EST
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray was named the NFL’s offensive player of the year for the 2014 season.
Murray finished the regular season with 392 carries for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus another 57 catches for 416 yards. His production was a big part of the Cowboys snapping their string of 8-8 seasons and making the playoffs.
Going forward, it remains to be seen whether Murray will keep helping the Cowboys win. Murray becomes a free agent in March, and the Cowboys may not have the cap space to afford to keep him.
But for now, Murray’s award is a tribute not just to his own season but to that of a great Cowboys offensive line, and to a year when Dallas finally turned the corner and returned to the postseason.
Posted by Mike Wilkening on January 31, 2015, 8:27 PM EST
The man who built one of the NFL’s top teams of the 1990s is reportedly headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Former Packers G.M. Ron Wolf is a member of the Hall’s Class of 2015, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Saturday evening. Wolf gained induction as a contributor.
The 76-year-old Wolf is perhaps best known for trading a first-round pick to the Falcons for quarterback Brett Favre in 1992. The move was a masterstroke, as Favre became one of the top passers of his generation, leading Green Bay to two Super Bowls, including victory in Super Bowl XXXI.
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 31, 2015, 8:24 PM EST
The choice for offensive rookie of the year in the NFL in 2014 was an easy one.
Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who shook off an injury-plagued start of the season to become one of the league’s most exciting playmakers, has been named the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year. The award was announced on Saturday night at the NFL Honors event in Phoenix.
The NFL’s awards are voted on by a panel of 50 members of the media, and in the case of this award, there was widespread agreement: Beckham got 42 votes, with Cowboys guard Zack Martin getting seven and Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans getting one.
Beckham missed the first four games of the season and spent three more as only a small player in the Giants’ offense. But over the second half of the season, Beckham was the best wide receiver in the NFL. After the Giants’ Week Eight bye, Beckham never had fewer than 90 yards in any game, and despite that slow start he finished the year with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The NFL had a talented class of rookie wide receivers this season, but there was no question who was the best: Beckham, by far.
Media guests included Peter King of TheMMQB.com, Tom Curran of CSN New England (twice), Paul Burmeister of NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk, Darin Gantt of PFT, MDS of PFT (twice), Greg Cosell of NFL Films, Ross Tucker of NBCSN and others, and Bob Glauber of Newsday.
That’s 42 total guests. In five days.
You can listen to the audio from all five shows by clicking the show logo in the upper right corner of the page.
Stork had been listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report.
According to the NFL, a “probable” designation means a player has a 75 percent chance of playing, whereas “questionable” infers a player is 50-50 to take part in the game.
Stork (6-4, 311) did not play in the AFC Championship vs. Indianapolis because of his injury. A fourth-round pick from Florida State, Stork has started 12-of-14 games in which he’s played this season, including the Patriots’ divisional-round win vs. Baltimore.
Stork was the lone player on either club designated as questionable on Friday’s injury report. Both teams now list seven players apiece as probable, with none designated as doubtful or out.